The Sunday Times reports today that seven out of the twenty-eight metropolitan mayors are ‘moonlighting’ and have other jobs.
Local government is not intended to be a full-time job for Mayors and Councillors but the workload is significant as I know from observing the huge number of hours Mayor Brad Pettitt and most Councillors spend on looking after Fremantle.
For the Freo Mayor it is a full-time job with additional local government work at the Heritage Council for which he annually receives $ 9,000 in addition to the Mayor’s payment of around $ 140,000. Correct me if I am wrong as I can’t find the exact amount.
But the City of Swan Mayor does only two days full time at council there and received nearly $ 140,000 per year, while Jim O’Neill, the Mayor of East Fremantle gets $ 43,000 for 25 hours a week and works another 45 hours per week as deputy-principal of the Willeton Senior High School.
I believe elected members should get properly paid as many of them spend the equivalent of full-time job hours on serving the community.
It looks as if it is going to be a nice mild Sunday so enjoy what is on offer around Fremantle.
The Growers Green big Christmas farmers markets is on from 8-12, so not only perfect for buying yummy fresh produce and breakfast but also for XMass presents.
The Bazaar at the Fremantle Arts Centre is open from 9.30 and sells local art and craft, so head out there as well.
Last but not least is the George Street East Fremantle Fair from 1-7 pm today. Great community atmosphere, live entertainment, food, Chrissie presents, just relaxing fun.
And after that take the kids to watch the sunset behind the Rainbow sculpture.
The first NIGHT MARKET ON THE RIVER will be held at the East Fremantle Yacht Club at Petra Street today from 6.30 to 9.30, so it will be interesting to see how that goes, especially since I did not notice any food stalls or vans on the list.
But markets are fun and this one is above the Swan River with views to the Perth city skyline, so go and see what it is like.
The neglect by the National Trust of the historic former Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle is a bloody disgrace and shows the organisation’s dismal failure of protecting the heritage buildings in it’s care.
The Royal George saga has been going on for many years, when artists were forced to move out and the building has been vacant since, making it a target for vandalism and homeless people.
Every now and then we are assured that yet again new developers are looking into the viability of renovating the building and making it habitable again, but it always turns out to be hot air and empty promises.
The Town of East Fremantle appears powerless to force the issue and demand that the site be renovated and activated.
It is an utter disgrace and something needs to be done at state and federal level to force the issue because the status quo is no longer acceptable and is endangering the beautiful heritage-listed building.
The Town of East Fremantle is trying to ban the use of plastic shopping bags, what the City of Fremantle unsuccessfully tried twice and was refused to implement by the WA government, so maybe a more achievable compromise would be to demand that retailers charge a fee for plastic bags, as they have done successfully in the United Kingdom according to The Guardian.
I quote a section of The Guardian’s recent article below:
# The number of single-use plastic bags used by shoppers in England has plummeted by more than 85% after the introduction of a 5p charge last October.
# More than 7 billion bags were handed out by seven main supermarkets in the year before the charge, but this figure plummeted to slightly more than 500 million in the first six months after the charge was introduced, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.
# The data is the government’s first official assessment of the impact of the charge, which was introduced to help reduce litter and protect wildlife.
# The charge has also triggered donations of more than £29m from retailers towards good causes including charities and community groups, according to Defra. England was the last part of the UK to adopt the 5p levy, after successful schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Good to see charging for the plastic bags did not become another profit making exercise but that the money was donated to good causes.
Unlike retailers such as IGA and Peaches in Fremantle the big supermarkets do not offer cardboard boxes as an alternative to plastic shopping bags, and that also needs to be encouraged as it is a good way to recycle the boxes the goods arrive in at the shops.
Police have released this photo of the poor woman who was found murdered and stuffed in a suitcase in the Swan River at East Fremantle on the weekend.
The woman is between 35 and 45 years of age Police believe, and was 158cm tall and weighed 59kg. She was wearing a Tokyo Disneyland shirt and Kathmandu vest.
If you know who this woman is please do call Crime Stoppers!
The WA State Government has a new My Council website where we can compare and see how our councils are doing. Nice to see the City of Fremantle page has one of my photos of Bathers Beach on it.
So I now know that the Fremantle area is 19 square kilometres small, that we have a population of 30,883 and 19,777 electors.
Fremantle’s revenue is $ 71,426,672 and its operating expenditure $ 71,070,614.
The total value of assets of the City of Fremantle is $ 486,608,885.
Rates are always a discussion point so I compared rates in the area and the recent rate increases were:
Fremantle 6%, Cockburn 11%, Mosman Park 5%, Cottesloe 5%, East Fremantle 6%, Melville 40%(is that a typo?), Mandurah 7%, Rockingham 10%.
The website is: mycouncil.wa.gov.au
Get ready for an exciting new bar with great views in East Fremantle, just a stone’s throw from the Fremantle CBD.
In July the Sweetwater Rooftop Bar will open on the sixth floor of the new Richmond Quarters at Canning Highway, near the East Fremantle Townhall.
There will also be a small restaurant, so it will be a great addition to the Freo bar scene.
I am surprised and dismayed that the City of Fremantle and Town of East Fremantle still have not officially joined many other councils who have called for the abolition of the State’s Development Assessment Panels-DAP- system, that has received a lot of criticism from communities and councils because it is pro-developers and overrules local council decisions by rubber stamping development applications.
Mosman Park, Vincent, Stirling, Subiaco, South Perth, Nedlands, Cambridge have all joined forces against the DAP but the Fremantle and East Fremantle councils remain silent on this very important issue. Why?
Why is this not on this Wednesday’s agenda for Full Council in Fremantle? Why has this not been debated on council committees and why is Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt, who loves mainstream media attention, not all over this?
The DAPs have been eroding local democracy and the State is giving more and more power to unelected bureaucrats. That is not acceptable and we need to strongly protest against it here in Fremantle, as they do in other councils.
If the DAP or SAT would make a ruling that would severely and negatively affect Fremantle’s heritage character it might be too late to protest. They allowed a 16 storey building on the former Subiaco Markets site against the ruling of Subi Council who only wanted to approve a maximum of eight storeys there. That is not on!
There is also not a word from the State opposition and Labor leader Mark McGowan on this and Freo MLA Simone McGurk also has not told us yet that they would abandon the DAP for a better and more democratic system. Where are you Simone?!
If you are worried about the negative impact DAPs have contact your Fremantle and East Fremantle Councillors and tell them to pull their fingers out and step up and join other councils against the DAP! Do it now before it is too late!!! Or email: email@example.com to get an email to all Councillors.